Archive for the ‘urinal’ Category

Restroom Outrage: A Rock and a Hard Place, or Zip the Lip!

I know I haven’t posted in a long, long time.  But since my domain lapsed, I just haven’t been able to drum up the passion needed for a solid rant.  But now I’m experiencing outrage, so I’m going with it.

One of the Nine-Hundred-Eighty-Seven Rules of the Men’s Room is “Thou shalt zip thy lip.”  Actually it’s Rules 2 through 987.  Rule 1 is, of course, “Thou shalt not pair up” (the Buffer Urinal Rule).

Ironically, I feel that if you’re going to go in for breaking the Silence Rule, you should pair it with breaking the Pairing Rule.  Why?  For the sake of the dude in the middle.Classical reference here.  Follow the link to be edified.

I’m not sure if I’ve discussed, in the past, the Hot Zone rule, whereby one’s choice of a urinal depends on how recently used your preferred choice was.  Lemme check.  Nope.  Anyway, there’s something yucky about stepping up to a urinal that’s just been flushed.  Because there’s still the Vapor Problem.  (Especially if the guy before you either drinks a lot of coffee or not enough water.)

And this is where you can legitimately take the Middle Urinal (though in a perfect world, it’d be Junior in the Middle).  In which case, you’re forcing everyone who enters after you into pairing with you.  And this is acceptable assuming there are partitions between the Stand-Uppers.

So today I was in that situation.  All right, I admit it, I took the Middle even though someone was at Urinal A.  Partition, though.  I don’t take the Littlun unless it’s the only one available.  Rules are meant to be broken.  Except by other people.

So anyway, I’m in at Urinal B.  And I hear an approaching conversation.  And I know it’s going to be carried into the Smelly Confines.  And it’s a coffee day, so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.  Sure enough, they carry the conversation in with them, take Urinals A and C, and continue talking through me.  I very much wanted to add some, er, punctuation to their conversation, by way of interrupting and issuing a poot-test protest, but I had no ammo.  Try not to be surprised by this.

Am I wrong here?  I’m fine with a carried conversation, assuming there’s either only one guy at the urinal and the other guy veers off to the sink or something.  But don’t talk through me.  Pairing is required.


Restroom Design: Springtime Spatter!

Well, it’s once again the time of year when I start wearing sandals, which always brings about a rude awakening:

Urinal spatter is detectable.

Yeah…ew. I mean, I know it happens all the time anyway, but there’s just something different about it when it’s hitting your bare feet.

Of course, I have a purpose for writing this. If anyone reading this is involved in Restroom Design, please make the urinal partitions bigger. Floor to about five feet would be just fine. Floor to ceiling would be even better.

And then at least I’d know whose spatter it was.

Restroom Oddities: The More They Overthink the Plumbing…

Today’s post is about excess.   One of the interesting restaurant chains in my area is McMenamins (or as I like to call it, McM&Ms).  I won’t bore you with the history of the place(s), because you can just read about it yourself.   Suffice it to say that their restroom designs could provide me with Oddities until the Last Day.

I should point out that, near as I can tell, all McMenamins locations feature some of the worst restrooms in existence, violating just about every Rule I’ve ever thought up.  In fact, I thought up more than a few of them while observing the abominations I found there.  I’m not trying to pick on them, because they are entertaining restrooms if nothing else.

Let’s start at Imbrie Hall.  There’s no defending this kind of urinal, but you’ll find them at most McM&Ms locations:

Floor Urinals, woo!

Floor Urinals, woo!

Nothing seems particularly strange here, although I’d point out the obvious courtesy of providing the left-handed gent (of which I am one) the opportunity of left-handed flushing at the left-hand urinal.  It’s clearly the left thing to do.  But note how the feed pipes for each urinal converge.  Then look up, and you’ll see this:

Plumber Job Security

Plumber Job Security

Yeah.  Staying with the urinal-theme, the Grand Lodge has this gem (hat tip, Mr. H):

Hold On to Something!

Hold On to Something!

I suppose this one is allowing you to keep your options open, but I’m not really sure that’s what it’s about.  I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to grab both handles and make motorcycle sounds while relieving yourself.  At least that’s the trend I’m hoping to start…

Lastly, we have a rare Ladies’ Room capture from the Olympic Club (hat tip, Mrs. K):

Choose, But Choose Wisely...

Choose, But Choose Wisely...

The thing is, amidst all that confusion, can anyone spot a soap dispenser?  All these faucets and no way to wash?  Perhaps Mrs. K can confirm…

Anyway, this has been your tour d’overkill.  Hope you enjoyed it.  This sampling was taken from three locations, of the probably fifty or more in existence.  Feel free to send me shots of the others if you’re so inclined.

Restroom Humor: I 'Faugh!' in Your General Direction!!

Merry Christmas, all ye readers of my blog!

Once you’ve mastered the tactics necessary to overcome your restroom enemies (look for my book on said topic, due to be published some time after I finish it), you’ll realize that The Rules really only exist for the sake of exploitation. Get everyone to agree on The Rules, then dispense with them and freak people out! As here:

Of course I had to notice that the dude lost pitch on his rendition of the Cheers theme song. But maybe that was part of the technique.

Restroom Oddities: Let Them Eat…Cakes?

There’s no good way to introduce this, so I’ll just drop in an image and let you recover before proceeding (hat tip to M. Ivy):

Refreshing and brisk, I'd imagine...

Refreshing and brisk, I imagine...

Now, if you’re of the female persuasion, perhaps you’re unfamiliar with urinal cakes.  As advertised, they’re all about deodorizing the area.  But I’m here to tell you they’re all about giving men a target.

The reality is that men are simply more accurate if they have something to aim at.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the legions of moms who’ve toilet-trained their boys by having them sink the Cheerios.  Or interview your husband about the joys of finding a stray square of TP in the bowl.  That thing is going DOWN!!!

Anyhow, some urinal designs allow for one of these hockey pucks to just sit in the “bowl” (if you can call it a bowl).  Usually there’s a metal drain cover that keeps the puck from clogging up the works.  But some designs feature a nice smooth exit, which means you’ve got to hold that puck in place.

There are any number of designs on these puck holders, and some are better than others.  But few have actually considered the marketing and advertising angle available here.  I mean, he’s looking at the cake holder, right?  Why not sell him something while he’s at it?  Well, if you’re thinking of launching a business, don’t.  Wizmark beat you to the punch.

Advertise beer, guarantee return trips...

Advertise beer, guarantee return trips...

The main problem here is, guys are totally going to snipe that winged horse.  He’s history.   Trouble is, you’re guaranteed a good degree of splashback there.  Not good.

Personally, I’d favor making custom urinal cakes with that logo on them.  Then an enterprising urinal patron could try to obliterate the “r” in “Horse.”  Heh.  Hose Beer.  Heh.  You couldn’t pay me to do this work.  Unless you wanted to…

One other thing to note here.  I’m totally for giving the guy something to distract him.  It makes it less likely he’ll start an unwarranted and (in a perfect world) illegal restroom conversation.  And Wizmark has models that talk to you or flash blinky lights and stuff.  Not that men are easily entertained or anything…

Restroom Oddities: See the Bowl, Hit the Bowl

If you grew up in the States and have even a rudimentary education in American film, you’ll probably think Peru is a drink that goes with Fronch Bread, Fronch Fries, and Fronch Dressing.  But I’ve recently discovered it’s actually a country with poor toilet training.  How do I know?  Well, this (Hat tip: Mr. H.):

We *never* have this problem in the States!

We *never* have this problem in the States!

I’ve linked back to the blog post this came from, which is worth a read.  I’m thinking of contacting the author and bringing him in as a highly-compensated correspondent.  He’d have to bring the compensation with him, of course…

BTW, all you non-Mr. H folks out there, why haven’t you sent me anything yet?

Restroom Offenders #1: Sink me!

I keep a list of Fake Handwashers in my cubicle.  I don’t do this to call them out (originally I actually put their names up, but thought this might be a Career-Limiting Move, so now it’s just initials); Mostly, this is for my information.  These are the folks I will not shake hands with; I will not share a communal candy bowl with them.  Biohazard!!!

Infinity Offender

Infinity Offender

So yesterday I’m in the restroom doing my morning Standup, when in walks the most notorious FHW on my list (see him depicted with an infinity).  He strides right over to the sink and grabs some soap from the Unreliable Automatic Soap Dispenser.  Immediately I’m thinking, “There is NO WAY he came in just to wash his hands!”

Sure enough, he had gotten some butter from an English muffin on his shirt.  Crisis averted.

Restroom Oddities #2: Here's lookin' at you…

It’s always good restroom design practice to provide the urinal patron with something to look at.  This aids him in avoiding making eye contact with any other patrons.  Need I mention one of the Rules?  (No peeking.)

In many cases, this will be borne out by an extremely out of date newspaper in a frame.  Some establishments actually go with something current, and that’s really cool.  But really, even an empty frame is something.  It’s better than the Pee Spot (the imaginary something on the wall a man is obliged to study intently while at the urinal).

However, loyal patron Mr. H. has submitted a picture that violates the spirit of the “provide visual distraction” principle, if not the letter.  Evidently it was seen at the Pepsi Center during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Now please, try to aim...

Now please, try to aim...

It’d be fascinating to do a study on parauresis (bashful bladder) with regard to this kind of image.  I also find it interesting that Democrats apparently need this kind of validation…interesting psychology?

Bathroom Humor #1: When it all just goes so wrong…

Perhaps this is comedy.  Perhaps it’s a horrifying vision of where we’re headed.  No pun intended there.

Mostly, this is just entirely wrong.  But funny.

For the record, this has never happened to me.

Restroom Oddities #1: Warning – drinking may cause gender confusion

Another feature I’ll feature here (I plan to be nothing if not featuristic) is the highlighting of Restroom Oddities.  A friend we’ll call Mr. H gave me these pictures and I couldn’t pass up using them.  First, the sign:

This just seems to make good sense, but...

This just seems to make good sense, but...

I heartily agree with the sentiments of the sign.  However, one must consider the context in which such a sign is placed.  And that context is:

Evidently the drinking has already begun...

Evidently the drinking has already begun...

It seems to me that if you’re a potentially pregnant woman reading this sign in the Men’s Room, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Need I mention these pictures are from a restroom in a bar?

One more image from the talented Mr. H:

Well, duh!

Well, duh!

I don’t think it really helps the cause of accuracy when you put something so seemingly designed to make a man feel a bit threatened right beside the urinal.  Maybe we could go with a smaller cone.  Just sayin’.